Blake Jenner on Glee Project Struggles, Missing His Girlfriend, and His Dream Glee Role — Exclusive!
The season finale of The Glee Project 2 has officially aired! On Tuesday night, we learned which of this year’s contenders has won that coveted 7-episode arc on Glee — and it's none other than Blake Jenner!
The 19-year-old Florida native has made it into the elite group of the final three contenders. Speaking exclusively with Wetpaint Entertainment before the finale aired, Blake dishedon his greatest challenges during the competition, who his favorite Glee guest mentor was, and what sort of character he hopes to play on the show.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Is it killing you not to tell anyone who wins? Blake Jenner: It's killing all of us. We can't wait for everybody to see the finale and for everybody to see what we worked on and the wrap up to this beautiful show that we carry really close to our hearts. It's amazing that none of us have slipped up, but we just can't wait.
What was the hardest part for you in the competition? The first thing is staying away from my family and my friends and my girlfriend. I mean, I was worried about my girlfriend. I was worried about my mom and my whole family. All we can do is just stay in performance mode, and we don't really have time to call anyone, you know ? It's all secret, we're constantly working, we're constantly acting, singing, dancing. The other hard part for me was the singing. I have never been musically trained. I've never had a voice lesson, so I really had to practice, practice, practice. I would go outside in the courtyard at night by myself, and I would practice. And then sometimes Lily would help me. Sometimes Michael would help me. Sometimes Abraham would help me, but I really just had to try my best to be on pitch and get the right sound coming out of my voice and everything.
That's such a huge part of the both your show and Glee. It must feel like such an accomplishment to be in the top three. I know. I used to sing in the shower and for my family and stuff like that, but once you're around a bunch of trained singers, you can't help but think, “Okay. This is a competition, and I have been studying acting for a long, long time, but I have not studied music once…” But as time went on I started to really know what I'm doing. But at first, I really had to just try hard and not get nervous in the booth. And as time went on, I got more and more comfortable.
What was the highlight of the competition for you? I really, really loved “Actability.” It was awesome to get to improvise because I love improvisation, and the fact that we get to improvise a music video – I was just really, really happy with the outcome of the music video for all of us. So that's probably the highlight for me because I just love acting, and I carry it really, really close to my heart. And just the fact that we got to do that on the show is amazing.
Tyler Golden/Oxygen Media
Did you have a favorite mentor? Oh, Cory Monteith [Finn], for sure. Two reasons. First reason, he's my favorite character on Glee. He's a really, really good actor. I think he's awesome, and his honest portrayal of Finn when he gets frustrated, when he's sad, or when he's disappointed, when he's vulnerable, it's all honest from Cory. So I really, really enjoy it. And then, he came and he was really honest with us. He was a super cool guy and gave us constructive criticism because we were used to like hearing only the good. He gave us stuff that each of us could work on rather than just like two or three of us. He gave us each something to work towards.
Was there a moment where you thought “I'm going home”? Well, after I kind of messed up in the booth with the harmonies in “Romanticality” week, I was really, really bummed. I did the confessional, and then I just started crying. I mean, I had worked so hard, and this whole competition meant a lot to me because I'm from Miami, but I've been living in LA, and I have been to so many auditions. I had been said “no” to so many times. I had almost gotten a couple of things, and then it just never worked out. I started feeling like, what am I doing?
I mean I would call my mom and cry to her. And I'd be like, “I feel like a loser. I'm just here eating ramen because I can't afford anything else. And I just feel like I'm not doing anything.” It was all those emotions mixed up together because I just really didn't want to go home. I felt like I could give so much more, and then messing up in the studio really, really hurt me. I love acting. I mean I've said it a bunch of times that acting is my wife. I want to have seven babies with acting, and I'll put them all through college. That was an emotional part for me. That was definitely like one of the big times that I really thought I was a goner, for sure.
Tyler Golden/Oxygen Media
What has this meant to you? If you get on Glee, that's wonderful, but if you don't, what has this competition meant for you? Well, if I don't get on Glee, that will be a really big bummer. It just means to me that I did make it to the end, and that's essentially what I wanted to do. I mean I remember telling people, I know that winning would be awesome, but I just want to make it to the end so I can experience everything and just know that I can show everyone what I've got up until the end and then the result be with God, be with the universe and just let it work itself out.
Have you found confidence in yourself? There must be some validation in this? I feel really, really good about where I’ve ended up and where I made it in the competition, and from here on out, it was all up to God. Whatever makes things happen, just leave it to that because you just can't do anything else. All you can do is do your absolute best, try and try and give it all you've got, and then let the results happen. And whatever happens is meant to happen. You can only expect that.
We know who won last year, and we know what kind of characters they ended up playing. They were very much like themselves. Did that influence you at all when it came to this competition? Well, yeah, it did because what more awesome character to play than yourself? The whole Glee Project, the whole thing is about being yourself and inspiring Ryan Murphy to write a role for you, to write a role around you, around your flaws, around your positives, around your negatives, around everything. And that really made me happy. I may have not had the most amazing story, like maybe Aylin or Ali or a bunch of other people in the competition, but I always said that I did have my story. I did have my kind of personality, and I thought that my kind of personality would be cool to have on Glee. I would love to be that new guy in the choir room who then leads them. That really did hit home for me, knowing that it was going to be a role written around who you are.
Tyler Golden/Oxygen Media
What kind of a character do you see yourself playing on Glee? Kind of like Jack Nicholson from The Shining. No, I'm just kidding. I would definitely want to be a Finn type character. I definitely want to be that go-to guy. The guy that I was in high school and junior high school for my friends. The guy that is there for his friends. He just wants the best for everyone. He'll make you laugh all the time, but he'll also be serious when you have to be. He will step up and be a man. And he'll fight for his friends, and he'll fight for the ones that he loves. I would definitely want to be that kind of character.